Astros AM: Hope is Suddenly Revived

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Sep 21, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Houston Astros designated hitter Evan Gattis (11) celebrates his two-run home run with Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (1) during the sixth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kenny Karst-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 21, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Houston Astros designated hitter Evan Gattis (11) celebrates his two-run home run with Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (1) during the sixth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kenny Karst-USA TODAY Sports /
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Don’t look now but the Houston Astros are suddenly back in this AL Wild Card race.

After stumbling throughout all of August and half of September, the Houston Astros appeared to be down-and-out in the playoff race. Barring an incredible run, the high hopes of 2016 were becoming a distant thought of the past. And that was incredibly doubtful with Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers, Luis Valbuena, and Alex Bregman all out of commission.

However, the Astros have turned around their fortune with an impressive 5-1 road trip through Seattle and Oakland. And its the way that the team has performed that has made this Wild Card dream even more “wild”.

To recap, the Astros won five of the last six games to these scores:

6-0, 2-1, 4-2, 2-1, 6-5

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The last three games in Oakland featured some incredible late-inning heroics from Marwin Gonzalez, Tony Kemp, and the arm of Jason Castro. Yes, the arm of Castro from behind the plate decided the final play of a game.

Now the Astros enter the final ten games of the season trailing the Baltimore Orioles by one game for the second Wild Card spot. And the team is only two games behind the Toronto Blue Jays for the first Wild Card spot.

The next ten games will be pivotal for the Astros, seven of which are at Minute Maid Park.

The first four games are against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim then followed by three versus the Seattle Mariners. Following the home stand, the Astros then go on the road to finish the 2016 regular season against Angels for a three-game set.

Don’t forget that the Astros are 11-1 against the Angels and 10-6 against the Mariners. So on paper you would think that Houston has a decent chance of capitalizing on their one last chance to make the postseason. Of course, records to this point don’t matter much. Unless it is the Texas Rangers playing the Astros then it definitely matters.

The team shouldn’t care about the records though. One slip up and the Astros season is most likely over. Saying that games agasint the Angels and Mariners are easy is a foolish statement. But playoff teams take care of business no matter whom they play. Here’s hoping that the Astros prove they are a playoff team and take care of business.

**Record information provided by Baseball Reference**

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